Tuffy and Us…

So, for those that saw, my family had to put down my dog during Thanksgiving.  And I’m writing about it now because I’ve given time to think about my friend.  My furry, reliable, if a slight pain in the arse friend.  Tuffy was a English Springer Spaniel of over 14 years, full of boundless energy and love who was about as thick as a rock sometimes ;).  We had raised him from a puppy and taken care of him until he gotten old.  He was our childhood pet.  And I’m glad to have had him.  I wish we had given him more, but I’d like to think we did the best to give him a comfortable home with people who loved him to live his life in peace and happiness.  Which is the least that anyone can do for a pet.

What a rough year…I lost both a new and old friend.  To have them so close to each other…..and to have to write epitaphs is just…terrible.  Well, granted I don’t have to, but I won’t have closure until I do.  They were good friends and I would do the same for any friend I lost.

So Tuffy came into our family through our piano teacher’s son’s dog’s litter.  I unfortunately cannot remember what they had originally named him but for whatever reason, my brothers and I named him Tuffy.  I really cannot remember why.  My parents might remember though….regardless, the little puppy came into our home.  We played, we slept with him and we enjoyed the company of a new friend.  Unfortunately, he soon became too big and too hairy to keep in the house.  So he became a full-time outside dog probably when he was almost 1.

So what about Tuffy.  He was a dog with boundless energy and it would take the entire ocean itself to slow him down.  He was friendly to anyone, though had authority issues with other dogs.  He would often try to be the alpha male, but often would get his butt kicked and would take his place as the Omega.  Happened quite often, which was annoying because we had to show him at the local county fair.  We trained him through a 4H Club and that helped, though we never really managed to train him off-leash that well.  Still, it never mattered too much that he wasn’t completely trained.  We live on 50 acres, give or take, of land and he was free to roam quite often though he never strayed too far from the house.  And he was mostly obedient.  He knew where home and family was and would always come back, regardless of whatever cat just happened to be in the field.  Tuffy owned the backyard, a doghouse, more buried toys than we will ever find and a place in our hearts.

I remember when I was much younger just sitting with him, petting him, letting him lick whatever hand he could reach and just talking with him.  As I grew older, I guess I didn’t talk as often as I would have liked to him, but we did and he was always there, listening to whatever I had on my mind.  He never complained when we were around him.  He loved the attention and he loved people.  He never bit or scratched anyone, though he would bark and be a sort of guard dog.  Though I’ve never seen such a big crybaby of a dog when you try to trim his nails.  He did not enjoy that in the slightest, but it had to be done.  He also had mat issues that we did our best to keep down.  Made worse when he would go and get a bunch of seeds stuck in his fur.  Could spend hours working on it.  =

When Molly came into the picture, Tuffy was curious about this newcomer and Molly was rather upset to see this big dog looming over him.  Eventually his curiosity ran out and he pretty much accepted Molly.  Molly was always slightly wary of him, (and Reggie was more so) which is amusing because he never did anything to them. Regardless, life moved on for the three of them and they tolerated each other’s presence.

There is just…so much to talk about and write about his history.  And I unfortunately don’t have many pics of him…just memories.  Everything from his adventures at the beach, the great floods we went through, the boat trips, the walk/runs, to the camping trips we took him on….just so much history and I sometimes forget just how much he was a part of our lives.  But he was our friend.  I’m glad to have had him.  I’ve learned a lot about dogs and I definitely have a better idea of what I would want out of my next furry friend, when I can afford the time, space, energy and $$ for him/her.  But its hard to imagine coming home this Christmas to a house with only one pet instead of three.  It will be a slightly bitter taste coming home to that…I even had an idea of a gift for him.  Tuffy loved opened presents….and he loved snow.  He would often roll around and eat it and take snowballs to the face with zeal while trying to eat them xD.   He was a good dog…

Wherever your spirit is Tuffy, I hope that it is running around in the same joy and energy that you had in this life.  You were a great companion and no pet will ever replace you. If you have a furry companion, give him/her a hug from me.


Timothy Wetzel


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